Committing History in Public

Public History is a form of public service. Public historians help create historical understanding by sharing authority and inquiry with a variety of partners: audiences, museum professionals, preservationists, business leaders and others. Public historians are trained, first and foremost, as historians –to conduct research, to craft interpretations and to write well. However, public historians must also be prepared to work collaboratively with partners for whom an understanding of history can have immediate practical implications. Public historians produce original interpretations that build bridges between scholarship and everyday life by respecting the ways in which their partners and audiences use history, and by balancing professional authority against community needs.